According to this new (in Spanish) federal court decides implementation of COVID passport

The magistrate of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil decided it will demand proof of vaccination for international travelers entering Brazil. And that formerly it demanded mandatory vaccination with the possibility of imposing restrictions on those who didn't vaccinate.

How is this possible? In other countries I know this kind of decision belongs to the executive branch. Also in the past, I've read Brazilians stating the judiciary was "creating law" and assuming functions of the legislature by re-interpreting the text of the constitution saying something the constitution didn't say at all.

How can the judiciary make executive decisions in Brazil? Is this something assigned in the constitution, or is the judiciary exceeding its authority, and if it's so, how is it that other public officials obey them?

2 Answers 2


Judges ordering the Executive branch to amend policies happens all the time in democratic nations. For example, see Judge orders Biden administration to stop approving new DACA applications. We can argue about the merits of a single decision or the prevalence of such decisions in a given nation, but the possibility of a court ordering the Executive to do something will always be there.

In that specific case, the Brazilian justice ruled that the policy regarding the entrance of foreigners, which already demanded proof of vaccination (but also created some exceptions), should be interpreted more strictly in the light of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (part of the Executive branch) recommendations on the matter. According to the justice, an injunction of that kind was a necessary remedy given that inaction could put Brazilian lives in danger. You can read the official ruling here (in Portuguese).

Again, we could argue about the merits of the decision, but there is not anything special to Brazil that allowed the judiciary to make such a decision.

  • How can that not be a violation of the division of powers? BTW, it happens all the time in democratic countries strictly speaking is a fallacy ad populum.
    – Pablo
    Feb 5, 2022 at 14:30
  • As I said, you are entitled to your own opinions on the merits of the decision. I've just answered your question, which was "How can the judiciary make executive decisions in Brazil?", and the answer's summary is "in the same way it happens in other democratic nations".
    – sourcream
    Feb 5, 2022 at 14:47
  • @Pablo: Policing the executive and legislative branches is part of the judiciary's job.
    – Vikki
    Feb 5, 2022 at 23:14

It is actually an overruling the decision of health ministry. Earlier mandatory vaccination was not required for foreigners. On a petition filed by Sustainability Network party, Justice Barroso made this judgement. This will be reviewed by all the 11 Justices.

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